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We’ve got bad news if you’re still waiting on your stimulus check

Published Jun 30th, 2020 1:00PM EDT
Stimulus check update
Image: Eric Gay/AP Images

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  • Some people have been watching for and researching every stimulus check update that hits the news for a rather unfortunate reason — they still haven’t received their first stimulus check, in spite of the fact that some 160 million have been sent out at this point.
  • Moreover, a new estimate projects that some of those people who are still waiting may not even get their coronavirus stimulus check until 2021.
  • This comes as President Trump has promised that lawmakers are working on a stimulus package that will include new checks for Americans.

Congress rushed a $2.2 trillion stimulus relief package into law back at the end of March, and the IRS swiftly started sending out waves of stimulus checks after that to get money into the hands of Americans hurt by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Here we are now at the end of June, with most Americans eligible to receive a stimulus payment having gotten theirs by now — to the point that President Trump has even started talking about the inevitability of an all-new round of stimulus checks that are apparently coming soon.

However, just as there are exceptions to every rule, so, too, should all of the above not be construed to argue that the stimulus disbursements have been an unqualified success so far. Indeed, the nature of pandemic meant that the payments were a bit rushed, so much so that more than $1 billion of stimulus money was, bafflingly, sent out to dead people. Also, for some people whose stimulus payments have been delayed — they might not actually get that payment until 2021.

That’s according to the Taxpayer Advocate Service (or, TAS), per Newsweek, which notes that some 160 million stimulus payments have been disbursed to-date in the form of direct deposits, stimulus checks, and debit cards pre-loaded with the recipient’s stimulus funds.

In a report to Congress, the TAS explained that “many individuals” (without mentioning an exact number) were still waiting on their stimulus payments as of June 3. “Although the IRS has issued nearly 160 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs), many individuals as of June 3, 2020, for a variety of reasons, have either not received the full EIP amount to which they are entitled or received an EIP at all,” the report reads. “In most cases, these individuals will have to wait until 2021 to receive either their EIP or the full amount.”

Because those individuals are likely experiencing “financial distress” now, the report goes on to note, the National Taxpayer Advocate suggests that the IRS work on solutions and alternatives to ensure that all individuals receive the EIP in its entirety this year. It remains to be seen, however, whether that will come to pass.

It should go without saying, the jobs picture in the US is still pretty horrific, with almost half the country apparently being without a job right now — making it all the more imperative that stimulus money get where it needs to go. What will be truly extraordinary is if the new stimulus checks that President Trump said last week will be announced soon are enacted and arrive before these peoples’ first check is ever received. That would be so very 2020.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.